The year is 1964. One of only two cars used for the filming of 007's Goldfinger driven by Sean Conery was sold. The Aston Martin DB5 fitted out with a variety of prop gadgets would go to collector Richard D Losee for a paltry £12,000 after the film's production wrapped up. Not a bad price for a DB5 with machine guns and tyre-blades. This iconic piece of memorabilia would later be sold to another collector by the name of Anthony Pugliese III for a more appropriate £250,000.
In 1997, however, over four decades later, the car was stolen from where it was being stored at the Boca Raton Airport hangar in Florida, USA. Incredibly, it was executed with such surgical precision that neither alarms nor guards were raised. The only evidence it had been forcibly taken (aside from the fact it was not there) were telltale tyre marks leading up to where many speculate it was loaded onto a cargo plane - the DB5 was so heavy that it had to be dragged by its axles.
The thieves lifted a priceless classic car from an aircraft hangar and flew it out from the scene of the crime with virtually no leads for authorities to follow. They eventually gave up.
To this day, the whereabouts of the DB5 remains a complete and total mystery. There have been rumours and whispers in circulation since incorporated within the car's building mythology.
It was flown over the Florida keys and dumped into the ocean.
It's in the Middle East.
It's been taken apart in a chop shop.
Every single lead thus far has yielded nothing but dead ends for investigators and art recovery agents.
So why haven't people given up? For one, six-figure sums have been offered for useful information that could eventuate in the prop vehicle's safe return.
“We want to reach out to the collector car community and a vast array of mechanics to let them know we are very serious about recovering it," says Chief Executive of Art Recovery International claims, Christopher A. Marinello.
More importantly, due to the singular nature of the car and widespread fame amongst the high-end car world, this ghost of an Aston Martin has a current estimate value of over £10 million. Point of fact, an Aston Martin DB5 driven by Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye was recently auctioned off for £2 million. People have gone to extraordinary lengths for far less...
The chassis number to look our for is: DP/216/1.
Eyes open, people. You never know where you might see it.